In the world of Sushi Striker there are no fish. Sushi is more of a mythical dish that tastes so good Kingdoms went to war over it. One wishes to share it with everyone, the other wants it all for themselves. How does Sushi exist without marine life one hears you cry? Via the majesty of ancient Djinn called Sushi Sprites. The players’ protagonist somehow gets in the middle of all of this and embarks on one of the most fleshed out adventure based on Sushi.
If This Was Five Guys, I’d go to War Too!
Once players get used to the far out notion of the back story, they can get their teeth sunk into the games core mechanics. Let’s set the scene, a game of Sushi Striker comprises of two players on either side of seven moving lanes. Said lanes have various assortments of Sushi on different coloured plates. The aim of the game is to connect matching plates and eat the Sushi. The more Sushi our protagonist eats, the more plates they can throw at the enemy.
One of the foundation moves in Sushi Striker is keeping in a lane whilst holding your current plate to speed up the selected moving lane. This mechanic once mastered can be used to hop around the board for some insane combos and massive damage, but again players need to master it first.
Super Hyper Power Sushi Turbo!
As the single player campaign progresses, players will be greeted with various power ups and abilities which gives certain advantages. Every Sushi Sprite comes with its own ability which can be taken into battle, players can also take more than one into the Frey too. This amounts to players being able to create their own move set to cater to their playstyle. For example, one Sushi Sprite can turn plates into sweets which regain health. Another Sprites power may have defensive abilities, which when combined with various item mechanics and perks makes for some intense gameplay.
The matches can be played via traditional controls or via the touch screen. Either way is fine to use but does come with a complimentary learning curve. Sushi Striker is a game of speed, both control schemes come with different trade-offs. Using L stick to navigate the board can be slightly more time consuming than using touch controls, however using the touch screen does obstruct the players view.
Sushi Sprite, What a Horrible Soft Drink!
Win or lose, players are treated to an experience mechanic designed to strengthen the protagonist and their Sushi Sprites. Levelling up unlocks new dishes to make more powerful match-up combinations. One did try the online and multiplayer options briefly, online just played out mostly like a normal single player match but with a much harder difficulty. Offline became a little more awkward with sharing one switch screen, whilst entertaining it’s not something one would suggest at a lads’ night for example.
The only point I would make about the gameplay in general is that the learning curve can be quite high in parts and is dependent on building that all important muscle memory. As the game progresses players need to rely on their instincts to act quickly by using their move sets and board layouts effectively. This isn’t a negative, more of a warning for readers.
Anime or Game?
The production value on Sushi Strikers is top notch. Cut scenes are lovingly rendered in crisp anime motion and could be easily put together to make a FMV or feature. All the trademarks of a wacky Anime, but it works due to not being afraid of pushing the boundaries of ridiculous notions. Something that Anime is loved for worldwide.
The in game graphics take great inspiration from the aforementioned cut scenes with the design and texture quality. Imagine a South Park Anime but flashier and not made of cardboard cut outs. Whilst this approach does have a mini game feel to it, it makes complete sense to have such a clear cut style when one considers the hectic gameplay.
The sound engineering doesn’t get more Japanese arcade. There is a heavy concentration of well synchronised sound effects to promote Sushi Strikers out of control gameplay. One can appreciate the panic it creates, only adding to the payoff of a successful match. The title track is lovingly created and is on display with its own visual intro at the start of the game, one can feel a soundtrack release coming on. Overall it’s a catchy affair and compliments the individualism of this title perfectly.
Overall Score: 4.5/5
Sushi Striker: way of the Sushido is the surprise title of the year for Nintendo and Co Developer Indieszero. This games writer tries not to judge from first impressions, but in this case one is glad he did. Sushi Striker is addictive, enticing and a visual delicacy with no frame rate or performance issues. Go ahead and take a bite!
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), Nintendo 3DS
- Release Date: 08/06/2018
- Price: Click Here to Buy
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Nintendo / Indieszone